Namdaemun 남대문 Camera Market
Where can you buy DSLR Cameras + Gear in Korea?
Are you looking for a good place to shop for cameras or camera gear in Korea? What about older vintage film cameras or very expensive DSLR cameras, Lenses, Tripods, etc? If you are a serious camera lover or professional and not just looking for a simple pink Hello Kitty digital camera~ Namdaemun 남대문 Camera Market is a place you should check out! This is one of the best areas to buy SLR, DSLR gear (used or new) in Korea for people who know what they want.
The camera street is a row of tiny stores that have opened up side by side, but don’t let the small size fool you. They sell simple ‘point and shoot’ cameras to even ‘Hassleblad’ cameras which cost over 20,000 USD. The stores are located near the busy Namedaemun market offering a large selection of anything a camera buff could ever want or need. The street overall is modest in size and just stretches down maybe 10 stores or so, but these places are all stuffed full with cameras and very expensive parts~ so camera enthusiasts will appreciate the selection and ease of hoping from one store to the other to check out what is available and compare prices (generally the prices are very fair to the Korean market value in these stores). Generally this street is fairly quiet compared to other areas of Namdaemun, and the shop keepers are pretty relaxed and do not hassle you as badly as the other markets because generally people shopping here know what they want.
Come to Namedaemun Camera Market if you know what you are looking for and are familiar with the going price for your piece/camera/etc new and used, the prices for a NEW camera will be as cheap as Korea’s market value goes. You are not going to find DSLR Cameras or lenses *dirt cheap* here. If you do, then there will be a reason for its cheap price. They will have whatever it is you are looking for used and new, and you will see a lot of older photographers here inspecting the gear before they make the purchase. The prices are very fair here for used gear and if you find one extra cheap, they will generally tell you where the defect of the gear is but it is also the buyers responsibility to find out the flaw.
Nara has taken on photography for quite some time and has a Canon 5D MarkII and a Canon 60D with lots of lenses~ comes here to drool at new lenses!
Lenses, Lenses, Lenses!
Even if you do not read Korean, the camera street should be hard to miss!
Since Namedaemun Camera Market deals with reselling used cameras they have quite a selection of older pieces from Leica, Bessa, Voigtlander, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Contax, Rolleiflex, etc. as well
It should be noted that another very popular place in Korea to visit for camera shopping is Yongsan Electronics Market which also has quite an impressive selection in *Some* buildings, but overall they tend to sell more of the smaller “casual” digital cameras vs dealing with the big DSLR gear like these shops. In Yongsan you can see different point and shoot cameras displayed nicely along with DSLRs and can browse around to choose the camera you want within your budget. Here in Namdaemun you will need to tell them what you are looking for in what condition and they will bring the model out according to your description. You will be able to find a lot of used items as well as new (in fact, most of the things in Namdaemun market are used VS Yongsan which is mainly all new). They are a bit less sneaky with selling to you at Namdaemun VS Yongsan where they are almost always trying to get you to buy a very inflated price and are a bit more intense and pushy at times.
This is also one of the better areas to SELL your camera or parts here for money or credit towards a purchase, but the price will depend on the demand of that piece in Korea for the most part, not the price tag value. About a year ago Nara exchanged a new 3D camera set from FujiFilm which he got as a gift. The market value was at the time around 600 USD but he ended up getting only 250 USD store credit because of how low the demand for that camera was.
Directions to Namdaemun Camera Market
Namedaemun Camera Market
ADDRESS 서울시 중구 남대문로 4가 20-14
Hours: Vary depending on the shop, generally 10am~ 8pm
Namdaemun market is one of the best places to go for supplies in bulk, wholesale, or just have a vast selection. The area can get really cluttered with people and seem a bit confusing, but for those of you looking for the Namdaemun Camera Street you are in luck ♥ It is on one of the outer streets and a LOT easier to navigate since it is not deep within the market stuffed with people.
If you are coming from the metro you are going to want to take the Light Blue Line #4 to Hoehyeon Station ~ this is right in-between the busy Seoul Station and Myeong-Dong.
When you arrive you can use Exit #5 and walk straight through the busy market till you hit the “outside” street where all the shops are located. Inside the market streets can get a bit chaotic so you can also opt to walk outside exit #5 a ways and take the other road on your right which is another “outside” street and not quite as crazy. I have marked the general area of the shops in pink on the map, they will all be in a row for the most part and pretty obvious!
You will know you are in the right place when you start to see shop after shop filled with expensive cameras in the window and camera brand names like Nikon, Canon, etc plastered all over the signs. A few of these shops have a staff member that does speak English, but it is usually a little bit and hit or miss so come prepared if you have important questions.
Have you been to this market before? Have a shop here you recommend or an experience to share? Comment below!!